The thankful residents of Delphin had given the heroes many bundles of black carrots. Si the town’s scribe be gifted them with many rituals. Seeo, the grannie gnome, smiles warmly after crowd dispersed, walked up to Varis, and patted him on the back.
“Well well sonny your friends did swell job with that little conundrum! Come by the inn later all the ale you can drink on the house. I might even have a job for you.” Seeo winked and hobbled towards her establishment.
The ceramic gnome inn was a cozy hovel with colorful ceramic gnomes lining the walls. All of them were in varying states of appearance, some were shiny and glossy without a chip others were cracked and missing various limbs and other important body features. A pair of bards, a jolly round Halfling with a lute and willowy elf played a jaunty tune.
“Welcome heroes, I’m Pille Inwyn Ninwinkle Ellybidle, but folks call me PINE for short.” A young female gnome with moss green hair and a pearly white smile greeted them. Antoinette knew that most gnomes have very long names. “Grandma said you’d be visiting. Please come have a seat by the fire. We have plenty of food, spirits, and stories to share! Just tell me what your poison is and I’ll see to it right away.”
Little old Seeo came out followed by her granddaughter who quickly set drinks and food on the table. Then she bowed and hurried back to the kitchen.
“So I hear you’ve been asking about Rocs. Well since you are going that way there is a patch of forest where my husband Waymilkkin is currently hunting with a buddy of his, Herman. Unfortunately in old age is awful at keeping track of time and Herman is not any better. I don’t think anything terrible has happened after all Waymilkkin was the leader of Fox so he can take care of himself and Herman’s skill with a spear isn’t too shabby either" Seeo said.
Varis knew Fox were a large thieving guild currently inhabiting Valido who usually who specialized in theft.
“Now now I know what you’re thinking, what do I get for helping this old bat, my sweet dear husband has a Liar’s Coin on him. Convince him to come back and tell him to give you it. And if he doesn’t believe you tell him I’ll sell off Olde Sally. I know that’s not the only coin he has. He told me he would be camping near Goldfish Pond, I’ll draw it on your map,” Seeo smilled.
The sun began to set as the adventurers approached the forest. The End Woods weren’t too far from Delphi. The thick foliage nearly blocks all sunlight from reaching the forest floor. As they neared the pond they heard laughter and that laughter came to an abrupt stop and the sound clinking metal replaced it.
“Oi we know you’re here! If you’re bandits you picked the wrong gnome to mess with!”
Waymilkkin was a gnome with white hair and large scar on his neck, as they approached he sheathed away his dagger and gestured the lanky human next to him to do the same. Waymilkkin then plopped
himself next to the cozy fire and invited them to sit.
“Well what are you adventurers doing in a place like this? Don’t you have some grand adventure to go on?”
“Your wife wants you hom,” Varis said.
“Now,” Malbert folded his arms.
“Well Seeo sent ya to find me? I wonder how long I’ve been out here,” Waymilkkin took a swig of his drink, “Tell you what share some alcohol with us, few stories, and in the morning I’ll go back to Delphi whether or not I catch Old Black Eye.”
“Listen buddy we have to get out of here soon…” Varis sighed.
“Herman tell the young’uns about olde hookhead!” Way swigged his flask and passes it to Najar.
“Oh by Avandra’s knickers,” Antoinette grumbled.
Herman grinned and began to recite the tale of Olde HookHead, “There was once a man named Moray E. El. He was a retired sea captain that came to live in Delphi after being the navigator on a sea vessel for 30 years. His favorite pastime was to fish at this pond. One day he noticed something glittering in the pond and he wadded into the water. Unfortunately under some brush was a water moccasin. The poor bastard didn’t have a chance, died in the pond by snakebite. Before any of the villagers could give the body a proper burial it was stolen by Yonderal, a crazy hermit. The hermit was known to be a apothecary of sorts always mixing weird herbs and animal parts. The villagers were pissed to all hell and when to Yonderal hut to reclaim the body. When the villagers got to the hut it was already burnt to the ground with Yonderal’s body decapitated. One person caught the glimpse of a man with a hook for a head running away from the house. Ever since then there have been sightings and the distant screams of the victims of Hookhead.”
“It’s just a tale to scare the wee ones,” Waymilkins took any other swig, you know if the kids don’t eat their veggies hookhead will kill them in their sleep. I’ll be right back I gotta take a piss.”
The old man left. A minute later a loud scream was heard followed by some Elven cursing. When the heroes charged towards Waymilkkins they hear another scream as they are going towards the old gnome. Gathe decided to go back to Herman while the others tried to reach Way.Both sets of party members encountered a man with a hook for a head. When they landed attacks on the enemies they vanished.
The party found small footprints on the ground and followed them. They led to a cave where two clay golems were guarding the entrance. Of course the clay golems were quickly dispatched. Inside the cave was full of traps, but thankfully using Najar’s summon dolphin ritual as a decoy they go pass all the traps.
At the end of the cave they saw a large workshop with multiple gnomes working. A gnome with gray hair dressed in navy blue overalls started shouting at them, “You’re from GOLF’s team! YOU CAN’T HAVE IT! It’s mine I tell you, you cheaters can’t have it.”
Her name was Eggle Apiknie Falan Wernital Gumshoe and she was the head of project seafaring. She was chosen by her superiors to construct a machine for an upcoming engineering fair however in the past their competition have been sneaky cheating spies. She used the legend of HookHead to scare people from their area. Usually just hearing the tale was enough, and tonight she was going to try to scare Herman and Waymilkkin because they were too close, but they proven to be made from tougher stuff.
“But we thought…” Antoinette began.
“GET THE HELL OF MY WORKSHOP!!!” Eggle roared.